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  • 1. HONORS 177 BIOTECHNOLOGY & ART midterm THE NEWLY WEDS sahar mandi iranian studies & international development
  • 2. abstract. In class thus far, we have focused on the influence art and science have had on one another and the dialogue that is forming between the two. Though this communication has been in the works for quite a while, it is just making its way into the forefront of people's minds as more and more attention is being given to the collaborations artists and scientists are making with each other. Most of both the artistic and scientific communities hold this to be a beneficial step to each of their fields of work, respectively. A fine example of this forming dialogue is seen in artist Daniel Kohn and his collaboration with MIT University’s Broad Institute director, Todd Golub[1]. My proposal is for such a dual working environment to grow and flourish in as many laboratories and art studios as possible. Thus, the idea of combining art with science and science with art will move toward becoming the norm, allowing each field to equally benefit from the other.
  • 3. concept / topic. Art benefiting science and science benefiting art! Though the two fields of study seem very different, they actually share a common goal: to know and better understand the human experience and to make sense of it in the context of the world we live in today. While science goes about approaching life’s fundamental questions with a very calculated approach, using well thought out techniques and methodologies, art does the opposite, gaining knowledge through the expression and analysis of feelings and raw emotions[2].
  • 4. context & precedents. Daniel Kohn’s art studio, located on the 4th floor of the Broad Institute, epitomizes strides both the artistic and scientific communities are making in the synthesis between art and science. Calling his work “thinking drawings” rather than art, Kohn’s 8x8” colorful sketches explore the forms of chemical bonds, DNA sequences, and chromatin structures. His work, exceeding more than 700 pieces, have transformed into a database of their own, much like the other large- scale and purely scientific data bases that exist in Broad. As if arranging high-throughput microarray or chemical screening data, Kohn’s database of the paintings are used to extract deeper meaning through computational analysis and manipulation. While Kohn holds his objective in this to be a betting of science through art, the scientific community at Broad appreciate his efforts and further add on, “contrary to popular belief, science requires imagination, while art requires much of the practicality of science”[3].
  • 5. project proposal. More “lab-art-tories” with the already well-known institutions (such as MIT) taking the lead and beginning the movement that is to ensue. Thus, the idea of combining art with science and science with art will start to become less taboo, as more and more people view it as the norm.
  • 6. project proposal continued. Laboratories will have a section meant for artists to work and create art in a fashion that will be visible to the scientists working in the same area. This designated zone can be separated by a see-through glass so as to maintain the privacy of both the artists’ and scientists’ working environments, while at the same time exposing their work and the process they go through before reaching the end result to the other, hence instilling a true sense of knowledge and appreciation for the other’s work.
  • 7. project proposal continued. Furthermore, the art created in the laboratories can be displayed in a non-intrusive way around the laboratories, fulfilling two purposes: 1. the art may serve as creative reminders to scientists to think outside the box when facing the many challenges they continually encounter, and 2. knowing that their art must be arranged and composed in a specific way will inject a certain structure to the artist’s way of thought that may make the work more comprehensive to the general public as a whole.
  • 8. conclusion. Currently, many artists-scientists or scientist-artists face ridicule for combining their work with something they love. However, though this notion is not very well-spread yet, strides toward making it so are taking place. With this proposed project, the dialogue between art and science will greatly be increased, quickening the process even more. A dual working environment will allow more creativity to leak into the scientific world and more methodology to enter the art world, assisting both fields in better understanding the world. And this, after all, is the ultimate goal of both art and science.
  • 9. references. [1] Kohn, Daniel. “Research.” KohnWorkshop. 2008. 8 February 2010 http://www.kohnworkshop.com/ gridresearchhub.php [2] Smith, John E. Biotechnology: Studies in Biology. Fourth ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. [3] Shapiro, Jesse. “Lab-art-orty” The Scientists. 2008. 6 Feb. 2010 http://www.the-scientist.com/news/print/54730/
  • 10. bibliography. •  Clute, John, and Peter Nicholls, eds. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St. Martin's, 1993. •  Collins, Jay and Silver, Simon. Biotechnology: Potentials and Limitations. Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1986. •  Kohn, Daniel. “Research.” KohnWorkshop. 2008. 8 February 2010 http://www.kohnworkshop.com/ gridresearchhub.php. •  Locker, Thomas. Seeing Science Through Art. China: Thomas Locker, Inc., 1995. •  Murphy, Karen L., Roseanne DePasquale, and Erin McNamara. "Meaningful Connections: Using Technology in Primary Classrooms." Young Children 58.6 (2003): 12-18. •  Nelson, Roxanne. “Biotechnology." Lancet 359 (2002): 1675. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Honolulu Community College Lib., HI. 8 February 2008 http://search.epnet.com/. •  Shapiro, Jesse. “Lab-art-orty” The Scientists. 2008. 8 Feb. 2010 http://www.the-scientist.com/news/print/54730/. •  Smith, John E. Biotechnology: Studies in Biology. Fourth ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. •  Sturgeon, Theodore. "Science." The Encyclopedia Americana. International ed. 1995. •  Wilson, Stephen. Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology. Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2002.